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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

4                                              FLOEA   INDICA.
scientific work that we offer this commencement of the Flora
Indica to the public; but though the advancement of abstract
science is indeed its primary object, yet as we yield to none
in our estimate of the value of economic botany, we confi-
dently trust that, as pioneers~in this department also, our
labours will be found of material service.
On this account we need scarcely offer an apology for our
partial use of Latin, which is necessary, as well for economy
of space, as because we are labouring for the benefit of Con-
tinental botanists as well as English ones, and because we
write under a sense of the obligation the former have ren-
dered us, by having published in Latin (instead of French or
German, or still less familiar languages) the many valuable
v memoirs on economic and scientific Indian botany, which we
owe to their exertions. When the flora of India is established
on a scientific foundation, it will be desirable that a compen-
dious English version of such a work as ours should be pro-
vided for the use of those who do not pursue science for its
own sake, but yet are desirous of availing theinaelves of its
results: at present such an undertaking would be premature.
Had it been possible to take up the economic plants of
British India by themselves, and to present a history of them
to the English reader, we should at once have devoted our-
selves to the task, with the certainty of obtaining an amount
of encouragement which a so-called paying work is sure to
command, but which one of a more scientific nature it* not
' thought worthy of receiving. We should however only be
deceiving the public, were we to propose a scheme wliich, in
the present deplorably backward-state of scientific Indian bo-
tany on the one hand, and the confusion of Indian economic
botany on the other, is literally impracticable. Dr. Eoyltfa
great work, published twenty years ago, is the only one on
Indian plants that attempts to combine practical with sdea*
.tific botany; but five volumes of its size would not bring the
iu the Himalaya by tho common Acwitut* Na^Uw of Kurope and Korth
America, as well as by other species of the genus.